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Transport Companies feel the pinch from Landslips on Okuk Highway

Jim Tapako investments is a Papua New Guinean owned business that has contracts in the highlands. Its twenty five trucks carry cargo  to the Pogera mine and  to Mt. Hagen.

But  since last week, they have not been able to do any work. The  landslips along the Simbu  and Eastern Highlands sections  prevented their trucks from taking cargo into the highlands.

Simon Yanda the operations Manager says, if the delays continue,  it could result in  workers being laid off.

“We have withdrawn our drivers,” he said. “It’s costing us more to pay for security.”

The  high cost of  keeping  trucks like this on the road  is strangling businesses like JTI.

Simon  explains that the wear and tear on  a single truck caused by bad road sections means they have to spend anything between  six and  20,000 after every trip.  It is a sizable chunk for small trucking businesses.

In Mt. Hagen yesterday,  residents had to contend with  a severe fuel shortages caused by the landslips in Simbu and the Eastern Highlands.  Prices have risen.

Bad road conditions  have plagued transport companies  for years.   But It has not only affected transport companies.   Families travelling into the highlands also suffered from the security risks  created by opportunists.

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